What Tisha B’Av Means to Me

The Shikker Dovid spent some time yesterday listening to
Rabbi JJ Schacter talk about Kinos. Rabbi Schacter asked a question and gave an assignment: What does Tisha B’Av mean to us. “Go home and write down your thoughts” Here are my thoughts.

I think that the 9th of Av is fundamentally an “UnJewish” day. It is negative, forlorn and hopeless. I like to think Judaism is an environment of happiness and postivie thinking.

It is an aberration amongst days. Normally, we are exhorted to “rise like a lion”, pray with gusto, learn joyously, derive strength from others and spend our day doing productive things with a smile. The proof of this is that on Shabbat we say, “six days you shall work.” This is proof of Hashem’s desire for us to be productive and active. On Tisha B’Av we sit on the floor and are constrained from following are normal pursuits.

The Shikker Dovid can think of many differences from this day to all other days.( The thought harkens to Pesach- as does the Kina that contrasts leaving Egypt to leaving Jerusalem.)

So why is this day different from all other days? What are we to accomplish on this day. The Shikker Dovid would like to give a personal answer:

The day is different so we can appreciate the rest of the year and each and every part of our routine. It is all of gift from Hashem. How wonderful will the cup of coffee taste tomorrow morning. How wonderful will Shabbos Nachamu feel after the the three weeks. Maybe we must take away the things we have once in a while to really appreciate them. In order to appreciate Hashem’s presence in our lives, we must reverse our normal existence, sit on the floor, mourn what is lost and take stock of the good things we have.

If Bnei Yisrael had not cried over the report of the spies and realized how lucky they were to have Hashem leading them and caring for them, all this could have been avoided. They did not appreciate what they had.

Maybe Tisha B’Av has lots of collective meanings, but for the Shikker Dovid, it is a reminder to never take the gifts of Hashem for granted, never take the world- the goodness and goodies in the world for granted and appreciate all you have. Recognize that all is a gift from Hashem.

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2 Responses to What Tisha B’Av Means to Me

  1. Jeremy says:

    This is a very nice post. yasher koach!

  2. Anonymous says:

    I disagree that it’s anti-jewish philosophy. isn’t fasting and introspection a way of atonement? tisha b’av is not only atoning for destruction of the beit hamikdash. think of it as a way of mourning many jewish tragedies all combined into one day. we don’t have a fast day for the Spanish Inquisition, Crystal Nacht, or other historical catastrophies,so consider ourselves fortunate to only mourn one all encompassing fast.by fasting, refraining from torah learning and entertainment, we have nothing else to do but wallow in our sorrow. the purpose of the wallowing isn’t to mimic “goyish” style self afflcition, but to make is deep in introspection, and think of nothing but how forlorn we are without the beit hamikdash, the loss of hashem’s presence among us, the ability to perform korbanot, the tangibility of our religion.

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